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3. And then consider the necessity of spiritual strength that we have need to grow up more and more in christianity, to be feeding still. We have need of strong faith, and strong assurance that Christ is ours, and that we are his. Let us often frequent this ordinance, and come prepared as we should ; and we thall find 'Christ making good his own ordinance in his own best time ; so as we shall be able to say, in truth of heart, experimentally and feelingly, with the church, “ My beloved is mine, and I am his, he feedeth among the lillies.”
THE DUTY OF THE SEALED TO THE SPIRIT,
WORK OF THE SPIRIT IN SEALING.
BEING THE SUBSTANCE OF
EPHES. iv. 30.
6 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto
“ the day of redemption."
HETHER the words be a command ensuing from au
thority or counsel, from wisdom, or a caution from God's care of our souls, it is not material; considering that counsels and cautions of the great God, have both the force of a command, with some mixture of the sweetness of love. The apostle, as his manner is, from the largeness of his spirit, riseth from a particular diffuafive from corrupt communication, in the verse before, to this general advice of not grieving God's fpirit by fin, especially against conscience enlightened and this diffúafive from evil is enforced from the dangerous effect of grieving the fpirit of God; and the danger of grieving ariseth from this, that it is the spirit of God, and God himself whom we grieve, and a holy spirit, holy in himself, and holy as the cause of all holiness in us; and he, after he hath wrought holinefs in us, fealeth and confirmeth us in that act of grace, until the day of our glorious redemption : so that the grounds of not
grieving grieving are from the greatness and goodness of the person whom we grieve, and from the greatness and constancy of the benefits we have by him. To speak something of the person : the holy Spirit is called a spirit, not only by nature, as being a spiritual effence, but in regard of his person and office, he is both breathed from the Father and the Son, as proceeding from them both ; and, by office, breatheth into all that God hath given Christ to redeem, and him to fanctify; so he is the spirit of God in proceeding from God, as that he is God, which whosu denieth, deny their own baptism; being as well baptised into the name of the Holy Ghost, as into the Father, and the Son; and no less a person than God, is needfal to assure our souls of God's love, and to change our nature, being in an opposite frame. Who can reveal to us the mind of God, but the spirit of God ? and herein we may see the joint forwardness both of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost, when both Father and Son join in willingness to send fo great a person to apply for us, and to assure us of that great good the Father hath decreed, and the Son performed for us.
The attribute the spirit delights in, is that of holiness, which our corrupt nature least delights in, and most opposeth. Holi. ness is the glory and crown of all other excellency; without which, they are neither'good in themselves, nor comfortable to
It implies a freedoin from all impurity, a perfect hatred of it; an absolute perfçction of all that is excellent. What is it then to grieve such a holy spirit, before whom the heavens themselves are impure, and not only the devils tremble, but the angels cover their faces? what shall we think then of them who do not only neglect, but despise, yea oppose this holiness, and endure any thing elfe? What is hated in the world with keen and perfect hatred, but holiness, without which, yet, we shall never see God, nor enter into that pure place, into which we all profess a defire to enter ? There was planted in man by nature a desire of holiness, and a desire of happiness : the desire of happiness is left still in us, but for holiness, which is the perfection of the image of God in us, it is both loft, and the defire of it extinguished. And that men might the better drive it out of the world under a form and show of it, they oppose the truth of it, and that with the greater success, because under that great colour, the devil and his vicar, carry all their devilish policies under a fhow of holiness. We fee in popery, every thing is holy with them, but that which should be holy, the truth of God, and the expression of it. The man of sin him
self, must have no worse title than his Holiness. A show of devised holiness pleaseth man's nature well enough, as being glorious for appearance, and useful for ends. But the truth of it, being crofs to the whole corrupt nature of man, will never be entertained, until his nature be new moulded by the holy spirit, in the use of holy means, sanctified by God for that end: it is this that makes a man a saint, and moral virtues to be graces, which raiseth things that are otherwise common, to an higher degree of excellency: this is that to a christian which exércise is to a man ; it gives him a being and a beauty different from all other; it makes every action we do in obedience to God a service, and puts a religious respect on all our actions, directing them to the highest end.
Now that which the apostle diffuades from, is from grieving so holy a spirit. These truths are presupposed ; First, that the Holy Ghost is not only in us essentially, for fo he is in all creatures; neither personally, as the second person is in Christ man; for then the Holy Ghost and we should make one person : nor yet is he in us only by stirring up holy motions, but he is in us mystically, and as temples dedicated to himself. Christ's human nature is the first temple, wherein the spirit dwells; and then we become temples by union with him. The difference betwixt his being in Christ and us, is, that the spirit dwells in Christ in a fuller measure ; by reason that as a head he is to convey spirit into all his members. Secondly, The fpirit is in Christ entirely, without any thing to oppose: the spirit always finds something in us, that is not his own, but ready to cross him. Thirdly, The spirit is in us derivatively from Christ ; as a fountain we receive grace at second hand, answerable to grace in him. The Holy Ghost was in Adam before his fall, as third perfon immediately; but now he is in Christ, first, and then for Christ in us, as members of that body, whereof Christ is the head : and it is well for us that he dwells first in Christ, and then in us : for from this it is that his communion with us is infeparable, as it is from Christ himself, with whom the spirit makes
The holy spirit dwells in those that are Christ's, after another manner than in others in whom he is, in some fort, by common gifts ; but in his own, he is in them as holy, and as making them holy, as the foul is in the whole body, in regard of divers operations, but in the head only as it understandeth ; and from thence ruleth the whole body: so the holy Ghost is in his, in regard of more noble operations: and his person is together with his working, though not personally : and though the whole man be the temple of the Holy Ghost, yet the soul especially, and in the soul the very spirit of our minds, as most suitable to him, being a spirit. Whence the apostle wishes the grace of Christ to be with our spirits. The best of spirits delight most in the best of us, which is our spirits. In the temple, the further they went, all was more holy, till they came to the holy of holies. So in a christian, the most inward part, the fpirit is, as it were, the holy of holies, where incense is offered continually. What à mercy is this, that he who hath the heaven of heavens to dwell in, will make a dungeon to be a temple, a prison to be a paradise ; yea, a hell to be a heaven ? Next to the love of Christ in taking our nature, and dwelling in it, we may wonder at the love of the Holy Ghost, that will take up his residence in such defiled souls.
The second thing pre-supposed, is, that the holy spirit being in us, after he hath prepared us for an house to himself to dwell in, and to take up his rest and delight in, he doth also become unto us a counsellor in all our doubts, a comforter in all distrefles, a solicitor to all duty, a guide in the whole course of our life, until we dwell with him for ever in heaven; unto which his dwelling here in us doth tend : he goeth before us as Christ did in the pillar of the cloud and fire before the Israelites in Ca. naan, being a defence by day, and a direction by night. When we fin, what do we else but grieve this guide ?
The third ground is, that we, even the best of us, are prone to grieve this holy spirit ; what use were there else for a caution? We carry too good a proof of this in our hearts : we have that which is enmity to the spirit in us, and an adverfary to the spirit and us without us; these joining together, and having intelligence, and holding correspondence one with another, stirs us up to that which grieves this good fpirit.
The fourth thing presupposed, is, that we may, and ought, by christian care and circumspection, so to walk in an even and pleasing course, that we may not grievously offend the spirit, or grieve our own spirits. We
lashes and blows, and many a heavy day which we may thank ourselves for: and God delighteth in the prosperity of his children, and would have us walk in the comforts of the Holy Ghost ; and is grieved when we grieve him, that then he must grieve us to pre